First VLN Victory For Lexus At The Nürburgring
Lexus became the first Asian carmaker to win a VLN Endurance Championship race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife with the debut of its RC F GT “Next Generation” prototype. Dominik and Mario Farnbacher excelled with a flawless performance in what were partially very adverse track conditions, and secured the Japanese a historic victory.
“I’m lost for words and overjoyed,” said team manager Horst Farnbacher, visibly moved. “We’ve been working on this project with Lexus in Japan and Cologne for almost two years now, and had to endure some painful setbacks during that time. But we never lost faith or wavered in our conviction in the Lexus’s potential. This victory is an indescribably magnificent team success.”
As so often at the Nürburgring, qualifying took place under partly wet track conditions, and was even delayed for 15 minutes due to thick fog. With just 9:43.479 minutes, the fraternal duo clocked up their ninth fastest lap time, confirming the “Next Generation” prototype’s superior handling compared to its predecessor. “The new Lexus hugs the carriageway much more snugly and builds up more grip. As a driver, this gives you greater confidence in the vehicle and reduces the need to take risks. These are key factors, especially on the treacherous Nordschleife, and show that our meticulously detailed labours have paid off,” says Dominik Farnbacher.
Like all the other top teams, Farnbacher Racing started the four hour race with rain tyres, but decided to change to no-profile slicks after just two laps as the carriageway started to dry off – a choice that turned out to be a strategically shrewd decision. As the race proceeded, this gambit let the Farnbacher duo remain permanently in striking distance of the front of the pack, and for the first time take the lead after ten laps. Meanwhile, the tussle for victory continued with an Audi R8 LMS and a BMW M6 GT3, but in the end Dominik and Mario Farnbacher prevailed thanks to a perfect performance, securing Lexus this historic success.
“It’s terrific for all who were involved in this project to enter the winter break with a victory. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank Lexus for their magnificent support which has now paid off,” concluded the Team Coordinator of Emil Frey Lexus Racing, Hannes Gautschi.